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Iron Man: Fatal Frontier #7: Review

Nov 2013
Al Ewing, Neil Edwards

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Iron Man: Fatal Frontier #7 Review by (August 19, 2015)
Neil Edwards takes his turn on the pencilling. This is the end of this 3-issue arc. In #5 we saw the distraction, and last issue the heist itself. Now Tony Stark turns the tables on his ally/enemy Eli Warren, explaining what *really* happened. Tony likened this arc to a heist movie. But the real model is the con/sting, which often gets melded onto a heist film. This issue shows how the main character was always 1 step ahead of the opposition, letting them appear to win but really outwitting them all the way. Digital Iron Man looks a bit Ultron-y. Maybe this is a side effect of phlogistone gradually corrupting Tony Stark's mind. That's not the end of Eli Warren and C Anderson Sixty in this series, but next issue will concentrate on the Arthur/Circle and Dr Doom side of things.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man: Fatal Frontier #7 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In #5 we saw Tony Stark at Cortex's launch party for their brain-interface Textile. Last issue we saw what he was doing at the same time in a remote-controlled Iron Man armour with Eli Warren - breaking into Cortex to erase all data on Textile. Now we go through it all again, but to find out what Tony was really doing.

As Stark faces the fake raiders at the party, all designed as a distraction to lure Cortex security away from their data vault, Iron Man lets Eli do the security-bypassing to get them into the vault on the grounds that he's busy 'fighting' the raiders. However he's really using a much faster security hack than the 1 he gave Eli to get him mentally inside the Cortex computer system.

Apparently after Tony's mind was rebooted from a backup (Stark Disassembled - IM(2008)#20-24) he started thinking more about his brain as a computer. He figured out how to truly multitask - subdividing his consciousness. At the moment there are 3 separate thoughtstreams - 1 at the party, 1 running the Iron Man suit, and the 3rd inside the Cortex computer.

Tony 3 creates himself an avatar. His added GHOST toolkit allows him to become Digital Iron Man. He's also overclocking this part of his brain to give a time dilation effect. His actions in here will only take a few external minutes. His AI warns him that it is unhealthy to keep this up for long, but he overrides it with a new rule "Tony knows best".

Tony 3's system also renders the computer environment in physical terms. So the Cortex anti-virus software encloses him within walls, and weaponised droids phase though to attack him. But he reprograms them to ignore him and report that the viral invasion is over.

Next he searches for security cameras, and finds them as part of the mechanical jellyfish guards we met last issue. They are designed for riot control - the cameras would film the targets' actions and then the tentacles would incapacitate them. He reprograms these too so that they don't record his Iron Man presence, and deliberately get a sample of Eli's blood to analyse.

Then he disguises the jellyfish's data as the Cortex data that Warren is after, and feeds it to Eli's data-miner when it arrives. Satisfied the data-miner moves on to the agreed phase 2, and overwrites Cortex's data on Textile (with Defenders fan fiction, concentrating on Nighthawk's love-life).

Before shutting down, Tony 3 comes across some digital guardians. When he gets past them he sees multiple crude avatars of Cortex's C Anderson Sixty. But before he can investigate further his AI warns him that his overclocking has gone on too long.  And Tony 3 allows himself to dissolve away.

We now return to the end of last issue, where Warren and his New Modernist Army were about to beat on Stark and his still-separate Iron Man armour. But they've apparently held off long enough for Tony to explain all that we've learned this issue.

Warren and the Army have used their Extremis enhancement to go all plasma-ey. Stark tries to talk them down and persuade them to leave the Moon to escape arrest. But Warren just hits him. The Iron Man armour does nothing but help Tony up.

What they are actually waiting for is the arrival of Udarnik's spider-swarm, which rapidly engulf the opposition and then form an image of the robot deputy. Udarnik holds the prisoners until the cops arrive.

Stark goes back to his lab to look over the data he got on C Anderson Sixty and Cortex Inc. He discovers that Cortex have found a way to detect phlogistone energy and have used it to make a map of all the mineral's deposits on the Moon. Tony saves a copy of the map and uses a back link to rearrange Cortex's original. He congratulates himself with his new mantra "Tony knows best",

But Dr Doom, hidden among his Doombots on the Moon, is able to spy on Tony's actions and gets his own copy of the map. He quietly thanks Stark for giving him the means to become a god.

Neil Edwards
Terry Pallot
John Rauch
Neil Edwards (Cover Penciler)
Neil Edwards (Cover Inker)
Neil Edwards (Cover Colorist)


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